Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children
What could be better than an Ethiopian welcome, FOVC style?

Monday, August 31, 2009

It's a Boy? (Encouragement Welcomed!)

Hey Everyone,

Well, we received the medical and social reports on "Little Boy B." Everything looks fine...aside from the fact, of course, that the poor little guy is an orphan in Ethiopia.

The guesstimates on his age range from four to six years old. Our agency seems to think he is five or six. Hmmm...

Although we have bouts of fear and terror, we usually have peace about moving forward. We are very close to moving forward. Our agency says we would likely travel in December or January.

Dave, in particular, is freaking out and has asked for two or three days to pray before he makes the final commitment. (After all, the pressure will be on him to provide for four kiddos, plus me! Even though we know, ultimately, the pressure will be on God.)

By the way, it turns out Little Boy B.'s name means, "blessing."

Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement, it means the world to us.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Africa's Changing Demography (by Dave)

This from The Economist (click here to see the whole article):

One African in two is a child. The numbers are such that traditional ways of caring for children in extended families and communities are breaking down. In southern Africa, as a result of HIV/AIDS, an increasing number of families are headed by children. A recent report by the African Child Policy Forum, an advocacy group, says there are now 50m orphaned or abandoned children in Africa. It thinks the number could rise to 100m, meaning misery for them and more violent crimes for others.

Millions of children already live rough in towns and cities. Prostitution and death await the poorest girls. The boys take to glue and crime. Africa has the highest rate of child disablement in the world. Some think 10-20% may be disabled, a staggering number, but since they are rarely seen in clinics and schools that is hard to verify. Paediatricians suspect some are killed in infancy—not Darwin’s natural selection but the dispensing of an extra mouth to feed. Physical stunting is probably rising.

Despite these overwhelming statistics, Africa is not the "dark continent" we often make it out to be. It is an incredible place filled with beautiful and industrious people who have so much potential. How can I ignore this plight currently taking place in Africa? How can I sit idly by? Lord, send me! Please, please, please...let us be a part of the solution!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Newest News

Darn! But I wish my new camera was working....I could share so many pictures of our great girls!

Allison is at a new school for eighth grade this year, Westview. Westview is our neighborhood middle school, and so far, we are really impressed! It looks like she will get to start some of the (proud mom alert) "gifted and talented" options in a few weeks. Between school and sports and babysitting and everything else, I'm glad she's organized.

Abby is in her final year of elementary school at Rocky Mountain Christian Academy. Our little (well, big) math-lete is looking forward to some challenging math. She has had her saxophone for two days now, and (proud mom alert) she's already taught herself how to play "Amazing Grace!" Abs wants to swim again this fall. We decided she can swim if she'll please-please-please play basketball this winter--let's make the most of her incredible tall-ness!

And Amelia. Where to start? She's a wild woman. We jokingly call her "our son Amelia" because she is so physical and so busy. She started the Mom's Day Out program at church--just a couple of days a week, so Mom can actually work--and she LOVES it. She's all over the place in that little classroom and (proud mom alert) her teacher says she is the most advanced student. That's our girl! She is a joy to all of us, in every way.

And now for adoption news:

We--that's Dave, me and the big girls--have a decent peace about moving forward with an adoption. Unfortunately, sadly, I'm not sure we are the right family, in the right place, to take on two big boys.

We are currently talking and praying about just one biggish boy. If our current kids will be Amelia = two years old, Abby = eleven years old and Allison = fourteen years old....we like the idea of bringing a son into our family who will be just about in the middle of the two youngest girls.

That would put him at around six or seven when he comes home.

We believe it would be a challenge, and another big change for our family. But do-able, and not too much to ask of our oldest daughters. And yes, we are a family of girls. But our cul-de-sac is a cul-de-sac of boys-boys-boys. And then there's soccer and all those other things boys like to do, right?

Our agency currently has a waiting boy who they estimate to be six years old. So we are communicating with the coordinator and thinking, praying and talking about the possibilities.

(In a crazy turn of events, our coordinator told me today that there is another family that is serious about the two big boys. She's so amazed and thrilled, because apparently it is difficult to place older kids, boys, more than one at the same time. (Sigh.) But, she's also puzzled that no families have inquired about the little six year old yet. In her experience, it's not usually too difficult to find homes for young school-age boys. Maybe nobody has made this boy their son because he is to be our son? Time--and God--will tell...)

I praise God for His goodness to us. May we seek to live, not an easy life, but a called life that pleases Him!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Latest Time Magazine article about Ethiopia

Here is an August 15, 2009 article from Time Magazine about the current drought and hunger crisis in Ethiopia.

And here is a fourteen photo slideshow from the same article, called "Ethiopia's Harvest of Hunger."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Waiting and Wondering (still)

Our agency has its annual picnic tomorrow. We look forward to seeing some newly-home "big" kids....maybe it'll help us imagine our family with more big kids in it?

Also, several of the families there have spent time with these boys. So we'll chat with them. We know there so many people who think the world of these boys. Also, we have more detailed information about them. It's very sad, but there is nothing that should dissuade us from going forward, if we determine to do so.

One mom who spent time with these boys this spring related a conversation she had with one of them. He speaks English pretty well, but she misunderstood something he told her: She thought he said he had a family in America who would be coming for him. When she tried to clarify, he responded with, "No, mom for me. Too old." Can you imagine feeling washed up at eight years old?

Dave and I alternate between thinking it's inevitable that we'll be adding two sons to our family ("How can we NOT do it?") and thinking there's no way we could pull it off ("How can we do it?").

Prayers for wisdom and peace, please!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Little More Insight

So, we are praying and seeking wise counsel. We have received some great insights and encouragement from families who are more experienced in these matters than we are. Also some wise words of caution.

I have found TWO FAMILIES whose structure is similar to the one we are proposing: Older American-born kids, foreign-born baby girl, and middle-sized Ethiopian kids as the center of the sandwich. God is amazing (the internet helps, too!).

Here's what I figured out today:

We met these boys. We have pictures of them. They were at Sele Enat when we were there nearly 13 months ago. I have been looking, looking, looking at the pictures today. It's unbelievable.

We covet your prayers, information, resources....or your construction skills. Because if we move forward, we'll probably have to add on to our house.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Are we crazy?

We are considering going to Ethiopia for a couple of school age boys. Best friends. They are old enough to know what adoption is, and they know they're the only kids in the orphanage who don't yet have families coming for them.

Are we crazy?

The 7% Solution

There's a book out there called Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. Here is a bit of what he writes:

If one hundred people represented the world's population, fifty-three of those would live on less than $2 a day.

If you earn more thna $4000 per month, you earn ONE HUNDRED TIMES MORE than the average person on this planet.

Which is more messed up--that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don't think we are rich? That on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves "broke" or "poor"? We are neither of these things. We are rich, filthy rich.

There are around 145 million orphans in the world today...All with wonderful faces and hopefully most with names. Kids who have a heart, need to be loved, protected, and cared for.


There has been controversy over this piece of info, and while many of these 145 million children cannot for various reasons be adopted, they STILL need to be cared for. Bottom line, as people who have so much, we have no excuse not to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. I do not budge on this issue. What can we do? How can we make a change?

These kids are counting on us....if just 7% of Christians stepped up....How crazy is that? Every child out there is someone's son or daughter. I think we should be disturbed.